I’m leaving Wednesday for International Quilt Festival in Long Beach. My car knows the way. I’ve been there every single year since its inception, plus, before I got married I lived in the area for a long time.

This year the show has some wonderful special exhibits lined up. Here’s one that I’m really looking forward to seeing.

This is the last Festival in California. So if you’ve been meaning to come but have been putting it off, now’s the time!

Hope to see you there,
Back next week with our feature and giveaway for August!
By Kay Mackenzie

Got home from Eureka on Monday. A whole eight days before I hit the road for Long Beach!

Oh my good golly, there were a couple of stunning quilts in the show. These both were hand appliquéd and hand quilted. Diane’s was hand pieced as well.

I Wanted to be a Baltimore by Diane Pialorsi

Quilt in Bloom by Linda Benzel

Extraordinary! Diane and Linda, congratulations on these traditional masterpieces!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Just got home from my neighboring state to the north from the Oregon Summer Quilt Expo. Whew, what a drive! Parts of it were very beautiful, like alongside Klamath Lake, but overall the trip was a mite long for my taste.

I took photos of a couple of striking appliqué quilts that hung nearby my booth.

Roses for Travis and Sharon by Peggy Gelbrich

Peggy Gelbrich of Yellow House Quilter was one of the featured quilters in the expo.

Hand appliqué and hand quilting!

On the other side were quilts by one of the expo’s teachers, Nancy Lee Chong of the Pacific Rim Quilt Company.

A quilt honoring the Hawaiian goddess of snow

Hand appliquéd with silver lamé! And hand quilted. Gorgeous.

Home for two days, then headed back north again to Eureka, California, for the Redwood Empire Quilters Guild show this weekend, July 20-21.

I’ve never been to Eureka, but 29 years ago, just out of grad school, my husband Dana journeyed to nearby Humboldt State for a math conference and thought it was the most beautiful campus and region he had ever visited. “Anyone who has ever seen the redwoods there can’t help but be amazed. I’d read about them before the trip, that they were ‘God’s idea of a forest,’ and I wasn’t disappointed. They’re so immense and they make you feel so small.”

When Dana found out I was going, he decided to come too! Hooray! He’ll do the driving! Thank you DH!!

Back next week,
By Kay Mackenzie

The winner of Jeanne Sullivan’s
Simply Successful Appliqué is No. 1, Linda Klauer! Congratulations Linda,
I know you will enjoy the book.

Here’s a quilt tale from the road.

Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes, was displeased last weekend.

I was in Madera, California, at a quilt show, and this was my view.

This is a very pleasing quilt made from all Hawaiian-themed fabrics. Upon closer inspection (which I had plenty of time to conduct), it appeared as though the sleeve had been applied to the wrong end and the quilt was hanging upside down.

Note the boats sailing in the sky, the palm trees growing like Miracle Tomatoes, the motorcycle shack hanging from the ceiling.

Pele displayed her displeasure. It was 104&#186 when I arrived for setup.

Wished I had Sue’s sunbonnet during load-in. Putting the booth up was quite the challenge. At one point I lay down on the cement floor. It felt good but I thought I might scare somebody so I got up.

I learned a new term, that of “swamp cooler.” Alicia explained to me that it’s when air is blown over water (as opposed to refrigeration) for cooling.

Swamp coolers are what we had at the Madera District Fairgrounds. But we were told that two air-conditioning units were being brought in, so we had hopes that the days of the show would be better.

According to the Vibe it was 85º at 9:00 the next morning.

My neighbors were good buddies Shawn of the Rusty Crow and Alicia the Batty Lady.

The Rusty Crow, featuring “Anything Primitive and Scrappy.”

The Batty Lady can answer any question you may have about batting, and probably carries the type you want.

Shawn wished for a piña colada.

Alicia was frying eggs on the metal loading door.

Shawn had thermometers in her booth. Yes, that does read 90º inside.

Here were our two a/c units, demo models at a vendor booth on the other side of the building.

My knitting needles had been in the suitcase in the car.

As you can imagine, the crowds stayed away in droves. But there were some beautiful appliqué quilts in the show.

Celtic Spring by Virginia McClaren

Daisy Dance by Melinda Worstein

Civility by Barbara Haggard

And they had the loveliest retrospective displays I’ve ever seen.

The guild members were very supportive, bringing us cold water, encouraging us to take our time packing out, and helping us tear down. Thank you, ladies.

It was 105º as I headed home.

When I got to Casa de Fruta it was 92º and their chocolate goodies were melting and stuck together. I received a discount on my fudge-covered oreo.

By the time I got back to Santa Cruz it was 66º. I told Dana, “It’s freezing over here!” I was mighty glad to get home.

I hope you are staying cool,
By Kay Mackenzie

I love my job. One of the best things about it is that I get to see so many of the new appliqué books as they cross my desk on their way to you, gentle readers.

This month, courtesy of C&T Publishing, we have the beautiful Simply Successful Appliqué by Jeanne Sullivan.

When I first saw the cover, I thought there was a lot of dimensional appliqué in that basket. Upon looking closer, I see that it’s really the beautiful shading in the fabric that lends that effect of depth! Very cool.

This book is for appliquérs who prefer a prepared-edge method… that is, the edges are turned prior to the stitching process. Or, for appliquérs who would like to learn more about it!

The book starts with a long list of supplies you’ll need, then goes on to five different approaches to color planning, selecting and auditioning fabrics, and preparing the background fabric. Then comes a comprehensive section on creating the pattern components needed, from making a master pattern to preparing working patterns to making an acetate or vinyl overlay for placement to making and labeling freezer-paper templates.

Then on to Jeanne’s appliqué basics! Accurate cutting of templates is covered, as well as “window shopping” for areas of fabric for your motifs (hence that shaded effect). In the next section, “Making Preturned Appliqués,” Jeanne says, “Hands down, it’s the easiest, quickest, and all-around best way to prepare turned-edge appliqué!”

Jeanne’s method involves ironing the edges of appliqué shapes over freezer-paper templates. On areas that need to be gathered, she uses liquid sizing and heat-sets the creases with an iron.

Now you may have seen this method given before, but I doubt you’ve seen it in the photographed detail given here: exactly how to manage each and every area of an appliqué shape, as well as how to handle unusual shapes and scenarios. Using an overlay to position the pieces is covered next, along with basting the pieces in place.

Part of the Gallery section.

After viewing a gorgeous gallery of quilts made by Jeanne and her students, you’re ready to absorb the sections on hand stitching and machine stitching. Again, there’s way more actual detail of each process than the average bear!

Near the back there’s a section on specialty forms of appliqué, including (yes) dimensional flowers, skinny stems, stuffed berries, reverse appliqué, lined appliqué, needle trapunto, broderie perse, lettering, and basic embroidery stitches.

To cap it all off, there’s an included CD that has nine projects with full-size templates on it!

Just a few of the projects on the CD.

All in all, 128 pages of glorious detail on all aspects of prepared-edge appliqué! Would you like to win a copy of Simply Successful Appliqué? To enter the drawing, leave a comment here on this post before 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 5.

Contest open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Do not reply to your email feed; click over to the blog on the internet and leave your comment at the bottom of the post.

Good luck all!

Until Friday,
By Kay Mackenzie